Loki's Showrunners Fed The Cast Lies Over A Key Moment In Season 2

If you thought "Loki" season 2 was confusing, you're not alone: the cast of the Marvel show probably did too, thanks to some purposeful misdirection – or, as executive producer Kevin Wright explained it to Marvel.com, outright lying – that went on behind the scenes during a key moment in production.

The lies in question related to episode 4 of the show's second season, a complicated, climactic chapter that features several key power changes and plenty of mortal peril. In it, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) "prunes" a version of himself from the past, and Brad Wolfe (Rafael Casal) is compelled to prune Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), too. The episode ends with the group of timeline-hoppers trying to enact their master plan to save the universe: Victor Timely (Jonathan Majors) steps outside of the TVA's headquarters, attempting to fix the out-of-control Temporal Loom that's threatening to destabilize. Only, it doesn't work: Timely explodes into ribbons of spaghetti-like material, and the Loom seems to explode towards the rest of the gang in a flash of blinding light.

According to Wright, though, that's not exactly what most of the actors playing that scene were told was happening — in part because they were also asked to replay the same scene in different ways throughout time-bending episode 6. "I think the funniest part of all of that, though, was as we were shooting it, you are essentially replaying that Episode 4 over and over and over again," Wright told Marvel.com. "As performers, as actors, they just start to lose track of days, and where we are in the story and what's actually happening." The season finale revisits the same scene a few times with distinct variations, at one point putting Loki himself in the space suit instead of Victor Timely.

Only Tom Hiddleston knew how episode 4 would end

Wright says that only Hiddleston knew about the actual end of "Loki" season 2, episode 4 — presumably, that Timely got annihilated by temporal radiation and the Temporal Loom exploded — and about how the rest of the season would unfold with repeating echoes of the same scene. The scene also features Owen Wilson, Sophia di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, and Ke Huy Quan (plus Majors in what would be his last major appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), and according to the producer, it sounds like they weren't clued in about certain aspects of the storyline related to the end of episode 4.

"I would say the way that episode 4 ended, the way it was shot, our cast, outside of Tom, thought something very different was happening," Wright explained. "We kind of lied to them about what was happening to sell a really insane performance." The characters portray various levels of shell shock in the scene, with Wilson's good-natured TVA agent Mobius repeatedly asking what happened and Mosaku's Hunter B-15 looking as if she might cry. "Up until I think they had all seen the episodes, they had thought something very different was going to happen at the end of 4," Wright hinted.

The Loki season 2 timeline confused even the cast

It's worth wondering whether or not the misdirection had something to do with Majors, who was fired from the MCU after he was found guilty of harassment and assault last December. Allegations against the actor first arose last spring when the season had finished shooting but was still months from release. This gave Marvel Studios a bit of time to figure out what to do with his character, one variant of whom was poised to be the next major MCU villain. After all, the scene that producers lied to the actors about featured one version of Majors' character dying suddenly.

Of course, this is all speculation, and in the CGI-happy world of superhero filmmaking, it's not particularly unusual for some plot elements to be found in the edit, so to speak. In an interview with Variety, though, Wright noted that the show didn't do any reshoots after Majors' arrest. "The story that is on screen is the story we set out to make. We went out there with a very specific idea of what we wanted this to be, and we found a way to tell it in that production period," he told the outlet. The simplest answer behind this anecdote may be the obvious one: "Loki" is a complicated narrative, and as Wright already noted, the fact that it was shot out of sequence didn't do the cast any favors when it came to grasping what the hell was going on moment by moment.

At any rate, Wright says the cast's befuddlement ultimately worked in the show's favor. "I think there was all this extra level of confusion for them," he explained, "as we're repeating this moment over and over and over again, trying to figure out why that is happening and what is going on."

"Loki" seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Disney+.